Kilkenny - old capital, seat of a parliament. See long history at rootsweb.com/%7Eirlkik/kilhstry.
One side of our people came from Kilkenny in 1820, but they don't appear on the landowners' map of 1640, see landowners at Kilkenny at rootsweb.com/%7Eirlkik/landomap. so fine indigenous folks with long roots in Kilkenny they were not.
On the other hand, we later learned that Skarf and spellings derived, were in Carlow - starting with "Red" in the 16th Century, first recording.
Next trip: to Carlow. Not far. See ://www.bytown.net/wexlist.htm/.
Perhaps we were Viking invader/settlers. See the fine site on Vikings in Ireland at vikinganswerlady.com/Ireland.shtml. And the map of how far they had come into Ireland even by 800 AD. rootsweb.com/%7Eirlkik/ihm/ire800. And then more on Viking settlements at rootsweb.com/%7Eirlkik/ihm/ire900. Dad's family -with the unlikely Irish name of Scharf - came from Kilkenny. They went to the Ottawa Valley area, Canada, in 1848, and the surname Scharf seems to be from the Old Norse for "cormorant." We claim the Vikings.
This is the Butler Castle, no relation but a prominent, philanthropic family, Kilkenny.
There are many old Irish names with the same Old Norse root - Scariff, On Scairbh. County Clare. See roots of names post at Old Norse roots, Ireland. Places: irelandmidwest.com/clare/towns/Scariff.
There is a Skarfskerry in northern Scotland, near Orkney. See Scotland Road Ways and Orkney Road Ways. There is also Otkell, Son of Skarf in the old Icelandic sagas. Burnt Njal at Otkell Son of Skarf.
See ncte.ie/viking/ for more on Vikings. From that: Vikings have been in Ireland for over a thousand years. They/we settled in at mills and farms, as well as vacationed from the old country plundering it up. We are indeed full Irish. And the odd name, Scharfe - now with an e so the Canadian postmaster in 1900 could differentiate between families - fits. At last. A quasi-identity ersatz heritage.
Look up any odd Irish name - it also may be Old Norse. See post at Old Norse roots, Ireland.
Give out the helmets with horns.
At Orkney Road Ways, and here at Ireland Road Ways, do look in the labels section to see the cross-references. For Viking buffs, see the google book, The Story of Burnt Njal, from 1861, at http://books.google.com/books?id=CzkLAAAAQAAJ&dq=Burnt+Njal%27s+Saga+Skarf&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=fFnfSozHkl&sig=86e9XhcSzHdvSZ3MjCNiYGfBv4U&hl=en&ei=Js6lSaqeN9W5twedpo3VBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPP1,M1/
Scroll up, yes, up, from the title page to see a depiction of an Icelandic long house, the skall or hall, and then up even further to see the shield with the motto,
Fain: from old Norse, feginn, meaning happy. Then there are old English derivations from foegin, to rejoice, etc. See definition at ://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fain
Foegin. Feginn. The motto on the shield.
Does this mean that Fagan the Pickpocket Gang Leader in Oliver Twist was Old Norse, perhaps in the Norman invasion of England, (the Normans being Norse) or with the English further into Ireland with Strongbow? What's in a name. For recreation, see ://listsearches.rootsweb.com/th/read/IRL-CARLOW/1999-11/0941511106/.
Baby names. Skip the baby sites, at ://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Fagan/ They are pablum. Get back to the grit. Vikings, Normans, yes! See Orkney connections at Orkney Road Ways, Finding New Roots.